Eastern Michigan vs. Miami (OH) prediction and game preview. The Eagles look to prevent the RedHawks from winning a third straight game Saturday.
Eastern Michigan vs. Miami (OH) Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 3:30 ET
Where: Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti, Mich.
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
Eastern Michigan only has been to one bowl in school history, and that came way back in 1987. But it is on the verge of becoming bowl eligible after winning only one game last season as coach Chris Creighton continues rebuilding the program in his third year. The Eagles had a chance to pick up their sixth victory last week as they led No. 20 Western Michigan in the second quarter, but ultimately weren’t able to contain the Broncos in the second half of a 45-31 loss.
Miami is the team entering with a winning streak having won its last two following an 0-6 start. The victories over Kent State and Bowling Green have come in the first two career starts of Gus Ragland, who is the RedHawks’ third starting quarterback of the season.
What To Know About Eastern Michigan
Brogan Roback has thrown eight touchdown passes and only two interceptions and also added his first rushing touchdown last week against Western Michigan. He’s thrown at least 38 passes in each of his last three games, completing 63.9 percent of them while posting a 137.6 passer rating in that stretch.
The status of leading rusher Ian Eriksen is unclear, though. Eriksen appeared to suffer an injury in a 27-20 win over Ohio two weeks ago and didn’t play last week against the Broncos. Brek Turner stepped in and rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown, and he’d get the start again if Eriksen is unable to play.
What To Know About Miami (OH)
Ragland tore his ACL on April 10 and underwent surgery exactly one week later, putting his season in doubt. But he made a surprise return against Kent State two weeks ago and threw a pair of touchdown passes in Miami’s first victory of the season. He threw three more touchdown passes in last week’s 40-26 victory, and Ragland appears to be the RedHawks’ starter moving forward. They finished with a season-high 429 yards of total offense against the Falcons.
The defense had a rough outing, though, giving up 446 yards after allowing fewer than 300 each of the previous three weeks. Miami ranks third in the MAC against the pass, and it’ll need to be ready with Roback on a pretty good roll.
Offense: Eastern Michigan – It has the advantage as it stands now, but Ragland has sparked Miami since his return.
Defense: Miami (OH) – The RedHawks have the top unit in the MAC allowing an average of 348.6 yards per game.
Special Teams: Eastern Michigan – The Eagles rank among the MAC leaders in field goal accuracy and average yards per punt.
Coaching: Eastern Michigan – Creighton is guiding a tremendous turnaround at EMU.
Intangibles: Miami (OH) – Ragland threw for a touchdown and ran for another in the RedHawks’ 28-13 win over the Eagles last season.
Matchup To Watch
Roback vs. Miami (OH)’s defense
The RedHawks have the top defense statistically in the MAC, and Roback might have a tough day if he doesn’t get some help from the running game. However, Miami had a rough game last week and will need to bounce back if it plans to pull off the upset.
Spread: Eastern Michigan -7.5
Eastern Michigan vs. Miami (OH) Prediction
Ragland and Roback have a solid battle, but Roback eventually gets the better of the Miami defense to lead Eastern Michigan to a close victory.
Eastern Michigan vs. Miami (OH) final score prediction: Eastern Michigan 28, Miami (OH) 24.